I need some advice on what to do about my tooth. I went to the dentist last week because my tooth was infected. The swelling went all the way up to my eye. He gave me some pretty strong antibiotics, which I’ve taken religiously. Everything started to get better. However, since the medicine ran out things have gotten bad again, including the swelling. Do I call to get a refill or does this mean that I was on the wrong antibiotic?
I am hoping that there has been some miscommunication between you and your dentist. Otherwise, it means your dentist has a profound misunderstanding of how tooth infections work. That is not a good quality to have in your dentist. Antibiotics alone will not cure a tooth infection. The infected pulp has to be physically removed by the dentist. This is typically done by either a root canal treatment or a tooth extraction. A root canal treatment is preferable because it saves the root of your tooth. However, sometimes the tooth is not saveable. In that case, an extraction is necessary. You would also need to replace the tooth so you don’t end up with tipping or shifting that throws off your bite. Leaving it open could lead to painful TMJ Disorder.
In your case, he probably prescribed the antibiotics in order to get your infection under control. That would not have been the treatment. Instead, they would schedule an additional appointment for you to have the root canal treatment. Hopefully, it is not too late and your tooth can still be saved.
In your place, I suggest that you call your dentist and schedule an emergency visit. If he just gives you more antibiotics, make sure that the appointment to treat the tooth is on the books for BEFORE your medication runs out. If they don’t do that, it means you need a new dentist.
This blog is brought to you by East Cobb Dentist Dr. Cristi Cheek.